Without question, Q is one of my two favorite Scrabble letters. As something of a word game addict, I have come to appreciate the letter Q in a way I never thought I would. Not only is it one of the two most valuable letters in Scrabble, Words with Friends, Lexulous, Wordscraper, and a host of other crossword inspired games, it is essential to spelling some of the most interesting words in the English language.
Without it, I would never have learned, for instance, how many Q words do not require a “post-q” u:
Qwerty…of or pertaining to a keyboard having the keys in traditional typewriter arrangement, with the letters q, w, e, r, t, and y being the first six of the top row of alphabetic characters, starting from the left side.
Qi…vital energy believed to circulate round the body in currents.
Qat…1) a white-flowered evergreen shrub of Africa & Arabia whose leaves have narcotic properties; 2) the leaves of this shrub, chewed or prepared as a drink.
Qaid…a Muslim tribal chief, judge, or senior official in North Africa.
Faqir…1) a Muslim ascetic who rejects worldly possessions; 2) a Hindu ascetic mendicant or holy man.
Burqa…a loose garment covering the entire body and having a veiled opening for the eyes, worn by Muslim women.
Tranq…slang for tranquilizer.
Suq…an open-air marketplace, a triditional bazaar.
Qadi…a judge in a Muslim community, whose decisions are based on Islamic religious law.
Fiqh…the system of jurisprudence: the legal foundation of Islamic religious, political, and civil life.
Sheqel…a paper money, cupronickel or silver coin, and monetary unit of Israel equal to 100 agorot: replaced the pound in 1980.Qiviut…the soft, dense, light-brown woolly undercoat of the musk ox, used in making fabrics.
Qasida/Qasideh…an Arabic poem, usually in monorhym e, that may be satirical, elegiac, threatening, or laudatory.
Now, I will admit to knowing most of these on the list, but the last five are new to me, and very welcome additions to my Scrabble lexicon. Always, always handy to have a few exotic words in your quiver with which to slay your linquistic opponent. Which brings me back to the more traditional Q words. I won’t bore you with expounding on the easy words (quick, quiet, queen, quite, quad, quid, quip, aqua, quit, equate, squint, square…). Rather, I will share a few quirky gems, some a bit quaint or obscure, that, commingled with the Qu words with which you are already acquainted, will likely give you the quorum of linguistic quasars to exact Scrabble victory.
Queue…1) a braid of hair worn hanging down behind; 2) a file or line, especially of people waiting their turn; 3) Computers – a FIFO-organized sequence of items, as data, messages, jobs, or the like, waiting for action.
Quai…a landing place, especially one of solid masonry, constructed along the edge of a body of water; wharf.
Roque…a form of croquet played on a clay or hard-surface court surrounded by a low wall off which the balls may be played.
Quet…a common black or brown speckled seabird (i.e. pigeon).
Qua…as; as being; in the character or capacity of, i.e. The work of art qua art can be judged by aesthetic criteria only.
Quixotic…extravagantly chivalrous or romantic; visionary, impractical, or impracticable; impulsive and often rashly unpredictable.
Quince…1) either of two small trees, Cydonia oblonga or C. sinensis, of the rose family, bearing hard, fragrant, yellowish fruit used chiefly for making jelly or preserves; 2) the fruit of such a tree.
Quale…a quality, as bitterness, regarded as an independent object; a sense-datum or feeling having a distinctive quality.
Quey…heifer (Scottish / N. England origin).
Quare…1) remarkable or strange; 2) great or good.
Quetch…to express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness; kvetch.
Quinoa/Quinua…a tall crop plant, Chenopodium quinoa, of the amaranth family, cultivated mainly in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile for its small, ivory-colored seed, which is used as a food staple.
Quetsch…a dry, white, unaged brandy distilled from quetsch plums in Alsace.
All of the above are words I have used at one time or use regularly in Scrabble game play. They will not only rack up a nice quantity of points, but should you decide to pepper your daily speech with these splendid syntactical torpedos, you will likely be the most phonologically fabulous person in the room.